Barley Risotto with Baby Artichoke

by Anna on August 12, 2010

in Risotto,Technique,Vegetarian

Hi guys! I know I was a bit MIA but I’m having a writer’s block (if we can call my blabbing here writing). Yes …it happens sometimes, I’m Googling my brain for some interesting subjects but all I can hear are crickets. LOL What to do? I haven’t done much…nothing glamorous at least, no fancy vacation, just work…and boring stuff. *Sigh* I think I need a cocktail with little umbrellas something to cheer me up a little. Any ideas? Anyways…I made this risotto today with this ever so cute baby artichoke, artichoke is a bit of a mystery to me, Most of the time I have to go online for some video of “how to” and believe me there are plenty. Isn’t Internet wonderful? Well… I don’t know if I can call this a true risotto because I have used pearl barley instead. It’s not the first time that I use barley for risottos you can see it here, I find that it work pretty well; the only difference is that it has a bit of a bite and an even nuttier flavor. The radishes were a bit of a stretch but it worked for me. It gave my risotto a crunchy fresh flavor. For some Blackberry Coconut Cake please check my dessert site.

Barley Risotto with Baby Artichoke


  • 3/4 cup minced onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1-tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 1/2 cups pearl barley
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup grated Parmeggiano cheese
  • 8 to 10 baby artichokes
  • ½ cup of peas
  • ½ cup of shaved radishes


Here is a video of how to clean and cut the baby artichokes. Then Add trimmed cut in half Baby Artichokes to enough boiling water with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and lemon juice to flavor the Artichokes. Cover tightly and simmer just until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes (time will vary depending on how many Baby Artichokes you are cooking at a time). Drain well. Set a side.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and onions and cook them for 2 minutes over medium high heat. Add the pearl barley and cook it for 5 minutes to slightly toast the grains. Add the white wine and cook for a minute then add 3 cups of the stock or water, and some salt. Bring the barley to a boil then cover and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the barley 25 minutes. Add the remaining stock and the peas Cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the cheese and correct the seasonings. Add the artichokes and radishes.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Magic of Spice August 20, 2010 at 1:21 PM

What a lovely dish…I adore baby artichokes 🙂

Sophie August 20, 2010 at 1:13 AM

Waw, Anna!! What a sublime risotto & those baby artichokes look the max!

I am truly amazed!

Lori August 18, 2010 at 6:31 AM

Ha! I love that you said you’ve been Googling your brain! I’ve been feeling the same way. The artichokes are beautiful and add such color to the dish. I’ve not made barley risotto, but it always looks so tasty!

Mika August 17, 2010 at 11:03 PM

Hi!!I finally have time to read you again!!
I love barley risotto, I call it orzotto because barley in italian is orzo…my future husband loves this more than me and with your recipe you remembered me that he asked me to cook it again for him.
Super recipe as usual.

5 Star Foodie August 17, 2010 at 8:44 AM

What a unique risotto with baby artichokes and radishes! The baby artichokes are beautiful!

Jen Cheung August 16, 2010 at 7:00 PM

love the photos you took :))

Juliana August 16, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Anna, what a lovely risotto…with BARLEY…is sure look so yummie with the baby artichokes…great great pictures!

kristy August 15, 2010 at 7:00 AM

What a simple healthy dish! That’s what I need for the day. Hope I could try the artichoke some day. Thanks & enjoy your day.
Cheers, kristy

Maya August 15, 2010 at 4:33 AM

I’ve never seen baby artichokes before, but they sure do make your risotto look beautiful!

Angie's Recipes August 14, 2010 at 11:16 PM

This is the very first time I have seen the baby artichoke. So beautiful…almost too pretty to be real. A very delicious-looking risotto!

sweetlife August 14, 2010 at 9:47 PM

great idea to use barley, writers block…ha…I need me some writers block…beautiful..


Anna August 14, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Thanks Matt, welcome to my site. 🙂

Pachecopatty August 14, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Beautiful dish, I just love all those sliced radishes, so pretty!

Matt Kay August 14, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Your food photography is amazing. The colors in this dish are so vivid. Good stuff!

Cookin' Canuck August 14, 2010 at 8:35 AM

Those artichokes are so pretty and you captured their color beautifully in your photos. If this risotto is what comes from writer’s block, then I’m going to wish for some blocks of my own.

The Cilantropist August 13, 2010 at 7:41 PM

I saw baby artichokes just like those ones at the market last weekend! Lovely recipe, and who cares if it is not a ‘true’ risotto, I think it sounds delicious. 🙂

Dana August 13, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Using barley as risotto is such a great idea! I will definitely have to try this out.

Isabelle August 13, 2010 at 5:45 AM

I’ve never seen red baby artichokes before… talk about a gorgeous colour! Love the idea of adding raw radishes at the end for a little crunch too, especially since risotto can often be pretty boring in the texture department.
Hope you can kick your writer’s block soon. I always find it hard to blog in the summer, because most of the dishes I make are so simple they barely count as recipes… so I totally know how you feel. 😛

denise @ quickies on the dinner table August 13, 2010 at 4:15 AM

That is the prettiest risotto I have seen in a while 🙂

Crickets in the brain? *tsk tsk tsk* you poor thing 😉 Though you don’t seem the least bit stuck for ideas, if you ask me!

Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } August 12, 2010 at 10:16 PM

Fantastic photos! I now have to find baby artichokes – they are stunning. Great risotto recipe – a must try.

A Little Yumminess August 12, 2010 at 10:07 PM

I have not heard of barley risotto. What a healthy idea!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: